O2 alters network to tackle ‘data crunch’

O2 alters network to tackle ‘data crunch’


O2 has changed the way its network operates in a bid to tackle the impending ‘data crunch’, the company’s chief technology officer, Derek McManus, said last week.

The operator has been in talks with the manufacturers that make its network infrastructure, as it looks to improve the process by which multiple connections are dealt with.

O2 will redimension parts of its network to be ‘process orientated’ – dealing with the apps process, rather than ‘volume orientated’ – dealing with the data process.

McManus said: ‘We have changed some of the ways elements of our network operates. There are certain things with manufacturers and the base stations that need to be smaller and closer to one another. Volume is doubling every four months.’

Many have blamed Apple’s iPhone for chewing up bandwidth. However, McManus said: ‘The iPhone grabs the headlines as it is so popular, but with all smartphones it is the applications that cause the problems.’

He added: ‘The capacity problem isn’t going to go away. It’s a positive challenge. How do you ensure you have coverage?’

McManus said the operator is also starting to see the benefits of a £30m spend on the network in London before Christmas.

The initial work, which included 40 new masts in the London area, has now been completed, McManus told Mobile.

In autumn last year, coverage problems had forced O2 to implement a Network Performance Improvement Plan, with an extra £100m spend added in 2010.

The network had blamed the emergency on pressure in areas with a ‘high concentration of smartphones’.

‘It was an intense piece of work,’ McManus said. ’But because we have more smartphone users we have been able to see what that means to the network.’

For full McManus interview, see next week's Mobile.

Written by Mobile Today
Mobile Today


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